Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A Palestinian boy reportedly killed by Israeli soldiers emerges unharmed. Aaron Miller says successful US diplomacy requires fighting with Israel. The Buffalo News says two states are the only solution. PLO officials say Special Envoy Mitchell is avoiding the region due to US-Israel tensions, but that they are in daily contact with US officials. Islamic Jihad reverses a statement promising not to fire projectiles towards Israel. Tourism is up 50% in the West Bank. Tensions run high in Gaza in spite of a Hamas call for, and Egyptian efforts towards, calm. Hamas says it wants to try PM Fayyad in court for an interview with Ha'aretz. Zvi Bar'el says only another intifada can save Israel's international image. Gideon Levy says everyone knows what Palestinians want, but no one knows what Israeli aims are. A sickly Palestinian man dies after a long delay at an Israeli checkpoint. Giora Eiland says US-Israel tensions arise from American commitment to a two state solution. A senior White House official reaches out to Jewish American leaders. Adel Safty says Arab states should support the Quartet.

Palestinian, 14, Emerges Unharmed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - April 3, 2010 - 12:00am

A 14-year-old boy thought to have been killed either by Israeli gunfire or from internal Palestinian violence last week turned up unharmed at his family’s house after trying to sneak into Egypt via smuggler tunnels and being held by Egyptian security officials, his parents said Saturday.

U.S., Israel get back into the ring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) April 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Don't let this lull in the continuing brouhaha between Israel and the United States fool you. It will get noisy again. Here's why: The recent confrontation between President Barack Obama, fresh from his masterful victory on health care reform, and a more uncertain Benjamin Netanyahu reflects a far deeper problem in the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

At odds in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Buffalo News
(Editorial) April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The problem that has developed between Israel and the United States is an offshoot of the same problem that divides Israel from the Palestinians: the lack of a two-state solution to the Mideast’s ongoing trauma. A two-state solution is the only possible answer to the bloodshed and privation that have punished Israelis and Palestinians for decades. The only alternative is for people on both sides to continue killing one another, which is not a solution but a failure to adopt one.

Erekat: Mitchell avoiding region over Israel tensions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The lack of clarity surrounding US Middle East envoy George Mitchell's next visit to the region could be due to tense relations between Israel and the US over Israel's refusal to halt settlement activities, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat told Ma'an radio on Sunday. With regard to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's remarks, a day earlier in the West Bank city of Beit Sahour, that a Palestinian state would be established by 2011, Erekat highlighted that the state was declared in 1988 in Algiers and that it had now been recognized by more than 100 countries.

Islamic Jihad: No promise made to halt projectile fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Islamic Jihad has not taken a decision to halt projectile fire toward Israeli targets, sources in the movement announced following a news report claiming the contrary on Sunday. Islamic Jihad is "committed to defending our people and committed to resistance in all possible ways," a statement from the movement said.

Tourism up 50% in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Tourism and Antiquities police said tourism in the occupied Palestinian territories increased during March, with a considerable rise in guests registered in local hotels. A police report said 464,000 tourists traveled to the West Bank, 137,000 of whom were international passport holders, while 83,000 were Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, living inside the Green Line.

Gaza tension still concerned after Hamas' call for calm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel Air Force aircraft on Sunday opened fire at two Palestinians, who Israelis claimed seemed to be laying explosives near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported. The incident came one day after four Palestinian organizations met in Gaza. There remains a degree of uncertainty as to what really happened during the meeting, while media reports suggest the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas called for calm on the part of the armed factions in the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Palestinian official says Egypt tries to contain Gaza tension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
April 4, 2010 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official said on Sunday that Egypt was contacting Israel and Palestinian groups to prevent further military escalation in the Gaza Strip. Voicing concern over possible Israeli military operation, Yasser Al-Wadia, head of Palestinian independents' group, said an Egyptian official had told him that Cairo was holding "intensive contacts with the highest Palestinian and Israeli levels" to prevent large-scale military hostilities.

PNA in daily contact with Washington over peace talks: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the United States hold daily contact on discussions over resuming the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a top Palestinian negotiator said on Sunday. Saeb Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio that the communication focused on freezing Israel's recent approved projects of building Jewish settlement in disputed East Jerusalem and stopping raids on PNA-controlled areas in the West Bank.

Hamas wants to try Fayyad over Haaretz interview
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas on Saturday called for Palestinian Authority President Salam Fayyad to be put on trial for comments he made in an interview with Haaretz published one day earlier, Army Radio reported. Fayyad said that he expects a Palestinian state to be established in 2011 and that Palestinian refugees would be absorbed by the new state. Hamas officials accuse Fayyad of giving up the right of return within the 1948 borders for Palestinian refugees.

A third intifada would work wonders for Israel's battered image
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

"Civil uprising? That's not a civil uprising, just local riots," defense minister Yitzhak Rabin told journalists back in 1987 when they asked why he was going to Washington just as the territories were flaring up. Rabin waved his hand dismissively, and his aide, Danny Yatom, reprimanded the interviewers: "You don't know what you're talking about." True, journalists also didn't quite grasp the full scale of the upcoming intifada. At first the events were called protests, then disturbances, and finally riots. It took a while for the word "intifada" to enter the Israeli vocabulary.

Palestinian dies after being delayed at IDF checkpoint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 4, 2010 - 12:00am

A 63-year-old Palestinian man died Saturday night of dehydration and cardiac arrest after being delayed for several hours at an IDF checkpoint in the northern West Bank. The army said it will investigate the incident.

Clinton’s plan is back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Giora Eiland - (Opinion) April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The crisis with the United States shows us for the umpteenth time that ambiguity is indeed a positive thing, as long as both sides enjoy it. When one of the sides, and especially if it’s a superpower, decides to call a spade a spade, a new reality emerges. The modified reality or a change in the rules of the game is tolerable as long as it is coordinated in advance. Yet such change causes grave damage once it’s being undertaken without advance notice by the strong side (the US), and this is precisely what happened during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit in Washington.

White House reaches out to U.S. Jewish leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 4, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior White House official tried to reassure United States Jewish community leaders in the wake of tension between the Obama administration and Israel. In an off-the-record conference call, National Security Council Middle East Senior Director Dan Shapiro on Friday reportedly said that reports of tension between the two allies were being blown out of proportion by the media, according to weekend reports in several Israeli newspapers. The call was first reported Friday on the Politico Web site.

In search of a viable peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa told Arab leaders recently gathered at the Arab League summit in Libya that Arab states should prepare for the possibility that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may be a total failure. He urged them to prepare alternatives. One such alternative, observers speculated, is the 2002 Arab peace plan under which the Arab states offered Israel peace and full diplomatic relations in return for Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories conquered by Israel in the June 1967 war.

Palestinian aspirations are clear, but what does Israel want?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - April 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Does anybody know what Benjamin Netanyahu wants? Has anybody ever understood what his predecessors wanted? Where are they headed? And where are they leading us? One after another, Israeli politicians have been asked these questions, only to reply with the standard rejoinders: "You don't expect me to answer this question" or "Let's leave this for the negotiations." Vague answers, obfuscations, evasive and noncommittal cliches - promises, promises. There was one clear, unequivocal answer - none.

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